I am an IFBB Physique Professional Bodybuilder, and former Division I Basketball player. I graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies. On the health and fitness front, I am an NASM Certified Personal Trainer and AFPA Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. I have also done a lot of education and certifications with energy medicine and holistic approaches. My certifications in the holistic realm include level 1 and 2 Health Kinesiology Practitioner, and Level 1 Reiki Certified. I have done extensive research and years of education on reading hormone lab work and balancing levels of the hormones and gut. Health, wellness, and nutrition are extreme passions of mine and something that I am continually educating myself on to help improve my client’s lives and help them reach their goals. I use all of these approaches to help balance out the body and get people to their goals in the most efficient and healthiest way possible. I have been working in the fitness industry as a trainer and nutrition coach since 2008 and have owned my own business since 2011. The clientele I work with are weight loss, hormone balance, competition prep, extreme transformations, gut function/healing, physique goals, muscle gain, and lifestyle balance.
As a child I suffered from a number of issues, ADD, Anxiety, Depression, and Tourette’s Syndrome. I had a lot of UTI’s as a child and was put on rounds upon rounds of antibiotics. In elementary school, I went through a few years of testing and psychologists to determine what was going on before receiving my diagnosis. I was put on medications to help with some of these issues. I remember that I hated feeling different that I had issues that other kids didn’t have. I was on medications for a few years and in 9th grade I remember that one day I just decided I wanted to be done with them. I was almost 16 and hadn’t hit puberty yet and right when I got off of them, I went right into it. 9th grade was a tough year. I was on the B squad playing basketball and not a very good player. I made a bet with my dad that year that if I got a Basketball Scholarship he would buy me a car. I worked my tail off and by 10th grade I had hit my growth spurt and was starting on the Varsity Basketball Team.
Basketball and Illness
This is where my passion and drive really started. However, hitting puberty brought on a whole other wave of issues. I was suffering from horrible asthma. I was on a few different medications and inhalers that never seemed to help. I pushed through high school sports playing both varsity Basketball and Volleyball and in my junior year of high school, I signed with a Division I school (Colorado State) for Basketball for a full ride scholarship.
College and Illness
After moving out to Colorado and starting pre-season conditioning, which was at high altitude, my breathing got worse and I continued to have issues. In college, we were getting our butts kicked with 4-hour practices and lifting sessions. Of course I ate whatever I wanted. It just didn’t matter because we were burning right through it! My freshman year is when I also started birth control for the first time. Fast forward to the end of my sophomore year. I got a bad cold that turned into double pink eye, double ear infection, and asthmatic bronchitis. I was continually put on rounds of antibiotics and just wasn’t getting better. This lasted for a long time. At the end of the season I ended up quitting basketball. We had had a coaching change the end of my freshman year and I just wasn’t happy anymore playing for my new coach. I decided to give up my scholarship and be a normal college student finishing up my last 2 years.
Hooked on Competition
Right after I started healing from being so sick, I started experiencing a lot of other issues with digestion, having no energy, mood, etc. It was at that time my mom suggested to me that I go gluten and dairy free as she had tried it and was feeling much better. So I committed to that and it changed my life. A lot of the asthma I had went away, my gut issues disappeared, I lost body fat, and my energy improved tremendously. I went on to become very interested nutrition and the fitness industry with everything I was learning and reading about. That is when I began writing my own nutrition programs and workouts in the gym. For years, I had followed what a coach told me, but now I was in the gym working out for MY body and fueling it like it deserved. This is when I got interested in doing a Body Building Competition. Some friends recommended that I compete. I ended up doing my first show my Senior year of college during my graduating semester. I became hooked on competing after my first show.
The sport of Bodybuilding didn’t come without its own set of issues. After my first show I started binge eating. I had no control over what was happening and spun out of control. I continued to do show after show to control it but it was continuously stressing my system out and I didn’t know how to find balance. I started to regain some balance and continued my passion for the sport and turned Pro in 2012 at NPC Junior Nationals in Chicago. Right after I turned Pro, I started experiencing many gut issues again, including Candida and Hormone issues.
Time to Retire
This is when my research and journey started with Hormone Balance and Gut Balancing. During this time, I paid thousands of dollars in medical bills doing hormone/lab testing to try and figure out why I didn’t feel right. Doctor after doctor would tell me I was “normal” and everything looked good. It became so frustrating knowing something wasn’t right but not knowing how to fix it. That is when I started obsessively researching and reading on Hormones, Gut Issues, and Balancing the Body. How things are tied together and how one thing throws off another and how it is all a feedback loop. This is why nobody could ever help me. There aren’t a lot of people that understand the complexities of the body. I had taken 2.5 years off before doing my first Pro Show because of that process. I had gained a lot of weight, and it was a struggle to get ready for my Pro debut since I had to drop 40 lbs. My body was still not balanced, I was still having gut issues, and was constantly stressed out. Within 8 months I did 3 pro shows and after that, I decided to retire from Competing. I wasn’t happy anymore doing it and my body was clearly not responding to it. After I decided to no longer compete, I reflected back on my journey of Competitions. I loved being able to push through the mental barriers and work hard and see my body change. My body has fought me my whole life and this was a part of me trying to gain some control with it. Bodybuilding allowed me to try and figure out Hormonally what was going on. In some ways it made it worse and in some ways it got better.
Learn from my Journey
I truly believe my entire life has been dedicated to educating myself and learning about Hormones, Gut Issues, Stress, and Holistic Health, so that I could help others pinpoint the same issues that I suffered from my entire life. After my last Pro Show in 2015 I hired a Naturopathic Doctor who put me through a series of tests and on 8 months of a strict regimen with hundreds of supplements. I did clean out and detox from some things, but also was extremely over loaded. My system just wanted to balance out and heal, but the hundreds of things I was taking were just stressing my body out even more. So, on the opposite end of the spectrum with natural healing, there is a point that can also be too much. I believe you have to help assist the body in balancing and cleaning out but you have to do it in a way that doesn’t stress it more or make it worse. I believe all my issues stemmed from being a kid with the rounds of antibiotics and all the medications I was on. Things that unfolded after that were all repercussions of everything that continued to progress. I am thankful for everything I went through because it has given me the passion and deep understanding of how to work with people as a whole. What needs to be done to avoid mistakes I made during my journey in losing weight and getting to a physique goal, and how to make the process far more efficient. Fighting against an imbalanced body only creates more issues. Helping to bring the body in balance allows for a much easier and enjoyable process!